Just in case you ever wondered, osteoporosis and table tennis, A.K.A. ping pong can be a bad combination. Not fatal…definitely bad though. Now that I think bout it, osteoporosis and any sport is a bad combination. Better yet, osteoporosis and walking around without a helmet and body padding is a bad idea. Someone should make signs for people with osteoporosis that read “exist with caution”.
Friends, I am woman enough to admit that I did not appreciate the seriousness of osteoporosis. While I completely understood what it meant to have osteoporosis, I had NO appreciation for just how fragile it makes the body. Well, now I am very informed on just how serious this condition is. I have also recently reached a conclusion about this condition. My conclusion, I have WAY TOO MANY accidents and enjoy breakdancing WAY TOO MUCH to have this condition. There, I said it!
I’m sure when you think of ping pong you likely don’t think of injuries…especially not broken bones. You probably think of college and beer pong, Forest Gump, or just two people standing on opposite sides of a ping pong table with paddles hitting a small ball. Well, good for you. That is awesome that ping pong brings you such fond memories. Me, not so much. Ping pong now gives me nightmares. When I think of ping pong, I now think of broken elbows and people standing around laughing while a injured person yells in pain. Sounds horrible right? WELL GOOD! Friends, I am now the not-so-proud spokeswoman for “When Ping Pong With Osteoporosis Goes Wrong…The Alcohol Free Edition”.
I can still hear the snotty nurse in the emergency room asking “were you playing beer pong” as I explained how I ended up with a fractured elbow while playing ping pong. Now, before I continue, let me say this. First, yes, a fractured elbow is really a thing…it can happen. Mine is called a radial head fracture. Second, a fractured elbow during ping pong can happen without alcohol in my world. See, I specialize in strange occurrences. Anyone that TRULY knows me knows I do not drink…at all. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine the types of adventures I would experience if I did in fact drink. I am sure my close friends are reading this thinking “Dear God, thank you for not giving this woman a desire to consume alcohol”. Fortunately, I hate the taste of alcohol and one of my medications to treat my Crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis has a high probability of leading to liver damage if I consume alcohol while taking it. So, occupants of planet Earth, please sleep well knowing that ALL my adventures are had without ANY alcohol. I gotta say, I am VERY interested in not adding kidney damage to the list of all my ailments…can we all agree I have enough going on?
So, in response to the snotty nurse, I quickly responded “actually no. I was playing regular old ping pong. You know, paddle to ball, with a table with lines.” Visibly in disbelief, she rolled her eyes and said “hum.” I quickly replied, “hum? Listen lady, I don’t drink and never have. I was playing regular old ping pong and am very clumsy…I’m actually glad I was able to walk in here. See, my accidents are usually legendary so I’m a little disappointed in myself. I gotta do better with my next injury”. As you would imagine, she was not amused…actually she looked horrified.
But, just to put things in context for you, allow me to share some of my memorable injuries. Now, I am sharing just so you can appreciate the epicness of my injury history. So, once I pulled a muscle in my shoulder after I got trapped in a girdle in Target. I will share nothing more about this one. Then, there was the one time I slammed a door out of anger and it came off the hinges and fell on me. Yeah, I was pinned to the floor for about 25 minutes. Oh, I once fell off a chair reaching for an iron and was stuck for weeks with my shoulders lifted. It looked like I was constantly shrugging my shoulders saying “I don’t know”. Oh, my personal favorite, the time I fell backwards down 22 wooden steps. Yes people, BACKWARDS. I will share nothing more about this….
So, to those of you that were initially thinking “what in the world? Fractured elbow, how did she end up with that?”, I say “thank you for asking, hopefully my injury history has given you more context.” See, in my world, the answer to your question is rather simple really. Six words, “Osteoporosis and ping pong with socks”. Yes I know, I could’ve picked something catchier…but listen people, I am in pain. So, this was about as creative as I could get…I digress. Back to it. Yes, I was dumb enough to trust my uncoordinated self, composed of fragile bones, to play ping pong on hardwood floors wearing socks. Before you get all “Judgy McJudgerson”, please review the previously provided injury history…I think my record demonstrates an injury was in my future regardless of the precautions taken. But, let’s talk about the injury anyway.
My New Year’s Eve started out as an amazing day…but ended in tragedy. First and foremost, it is my wedding anniversary. My husband and I celebrated 11 years of marriage…18 years together total. Yes, go us! It was also amazing because I woke to my kiddos sleeping in well past their usual time…10am!! Yep, 10 am people. If you have children, had children, or helped raise children at any point in your life, then you know how amazing this was. Honestly, I had to check on my little ones because 10 am was an unprecedented sleep.
After celebrating my unexpected extended night of sleep, I then realized that my husband was up making breakfast. Before my feet touched my hardwood floors in my bedroom, I could smell the hickory smoked bacon and eggs he cooked…SCRUMDILIUMPTIOUS! My husband, kiddos, and I sat around the table and ate breakfast as a family while listening to holiday music in the background. We laughed, talked, and just enjoyed one another.
After breakfast, we played several board games, watched movies, and cooked dinner together for our evening at home by the fire. The menu consisted of fried chicken wings, homemade pizza, chips and dip, soda, and homemade cookies. Yes, a night to snacking. See, New Year’s Eve at my house is not a wild night of drinking. It is a family night filled with lots of snacking, Nintendo Wii, board games, cards, and movies. This was a tradition my husband and I started when we were 16 years old…and have continued it every year. In fact, we chose New Year’s Eve as our wedding day because “it would be easy to remember since we spend it together anyway.” Yep, that’s an indication into how we roll…we set the bar pretty low.
In retrospect, I wish we would’ve stuck to our routine. But, I wouldn’t be me if that happened. I am known for going off script…so why would New Year’s Eve be any different? So, shortly after the countdown, my husband and I kissed and he said a prayer over our family asking God for a new year of health and happiness. This past year has been EXTREMELY difficult for our family so we decided to petition God early for a change. Well, God clearly misunderstood our prayer, or has a pretty jacked up sense of humor because LITERALLY 10 minutes later, I was laying on my basement floor with a fractured elbow.
Shortly after our family prayer, we decided to play a family game of ping pong. My youngest daughter was sleep so my husband agreed to let me oldest daughter play on his team…leaving me to play alone. No biggie, one and half against one was not too bad. After a few volleys I could see the pace from my husband picking up. Not one to ever back down from competition, I decided to take my game up a notch…despite the fact that my daughter was still playing on my husband’s team. Suddenly, I noticed a weakness. Because of my daughter’s small frame and height, there was a big gap between her and my husband. I thought to myself “that would be the perfect place to hit a hard spike and close out the game”. So, I did just that.
As my husband hit the ball and sent it flying to my right, I quickly jumped to my right with my paddle extended. So excited about the possibility of beating the two of them, I forgot that I was playing on hardwood floors wearing only socks. Yes, as you would imagine, gravity was not kind to me. As I leaped to the right with my paddle extended, my socks slid across the hardwood floors and caused me to lose my footing. I never realized how slippery hardwood could be. Well, as I lost my footing, both feet flipped up into the air. As I tried to fight the fall, my body turned left in the air. Within seconds, I crashed down onto the floor directly on my elbow. On impact, I heard a loud “SNAP!”
As I laid on the cold hardwood floor completely shocked by my unexpected fall, I immediately started laughing. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason every time I hit my elbow I laugh. I literally had tears in my eyes because it was EXTREMELY painful, yet I also laughed uncontrollably. Through the laughter and pain, I was able to find enough air to ask “did I make the shot”? My husband and daughter quickly ran around the table and stood over me with looks of complete horror on their faces. While looking down at me periodically laughing, my husband replied “not even close.”
So, I think we can all learn some valuable lessons from my misfortune. First, if you have osteoporosis be 80 years old so you don’t have to worry about playing sports. If you are unlucky like me and younger than that, wear body protection 24 hours a day. Second, when you injure yourself, because let’s face it there is a high probability of injury when you have osteoporosis, make up a great story involving alcohol. Everyone will assume you were drunk anyway…so why not have a imaginary drink? Third, if you have osteoporosis ALWAYS wear shoes with grips…even if you are just walking around. Any fall for can be a nasty one.
Now, some of you are reading this thinking I would say a take away is to just enjoy a friendly game without competition…particularly when children are involved. Well no, that is NOT my lesson. I think kids need to learn that you cannot win everything…sometimes you lose. The BEST place to learn that lesson, in my opinion, is with your parents. So, I will continue to beat my kids in board games, sports, and everything else unless they step up their game. Yeah, that’s how I roll.